By Nick Iwanyshyn

Newschoolers.com journalist Nick Iwanyshyn had the pleasure of attending the Rail Jam last Saturday at Calabogie Peaks Resort, about an hour west of Ottawa. The hill has a whopping 760 feet of vertical, but the resort has always been known to have the best park setup closest to Ottawa. This day was not a change from the normal.

The format for the comp was simple: two rails, 30 minutes at each rail. The top five riders advanced to a final on one undecided rail. The rails used in the jam were a 20-ft down-kink and a 20-ft flat set on an upslope. The jam was organized by Calabogie Park Designer Andy Stewart, who had just gotten back from the X Games Qualifiers in Breckenridge, Colorado. “Right when practice started you could tell that the competition was going to be nuts,â€? said second-place finisher Bailey Mitchell.

The jam started on the top kink, with riders going off since minute one- smooth switch on switch offs, grabbed disasters to fakie, switch ups and 270 off. All competitors were fueling off each other and stepping it up, throwing more then just their stock tricks. There were some very good bails on the kink rail, most of them thanks to myself.

On the flat rail, most of the skiers threw a smooth 270 out first hit thanks to the practice. Local Calabogie rider Kevin Boate decided to throw a smooth 270 off followed by a blindside 270 off, then a huge stomped 450.

The finals got underway back on the downkink, with Bailey Mitchell throwing nice switch on switch-ups to switch and a huge 270 over the flat. Kevin Boate greased it switch, then got on regular and 270’d over the kink. Danny Israel decided to try for the switch 270 on after every other possible trick was done. In the end it was the smooth sliding of Danny Israel that got him first place, while Bailey Mitchell came in second and Kevin Boate rounded out the top three.

“I was really impressed; I haven't seen a lot of the guys in the comp ride. It was good to see some talent in the Ottawa area,â€? said judge and competition organizer Andy Stewart. He’s stoked on the scene at Calabogie; Forum Snowboards decided to make it one of their stops this year on the Youngblood Comp Tour. Andy is very positive about having a larger slopestyle later in the season. “I was really happy with how the comp went and I hope everyone and more will come to our slope comp in late February, early March,â€? he said. Check out http://www.calabogie.com to get resort information.

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